it s quite long time , I haven't post here , hehe , it s good to see you again .
It s quite good news , i have there
I think it s good time to review about the Zed open source subject
Some History :
After discovering the zed community , ( I remember the time where there was no forum , but only comment ) , sharing the same love of this fabulous game (and discovering that I m not alone loving it , but around the world , other person also think that Zed just missing the popularity that was taked by C&C ) , We would like to improve , and then some Windows Xp come in the market and let Windows 95/98 goto trash .
some voice begin to ask Bitmap Brothers thought zzone webmaster , a way for openning the source of Zed (they didn't sold it anymore , and it s a title with some years behind it as abandonware ) ,. The community zzone really love zed , and would like to play it everywhere , on every system , without the old technical restriction , even the community would like to improve it , make more map , make more world , make it even more greater , make new robot , introduce new point of view , introduce new Humor , yes , because the sens of humor is one Zed big advantage over other C&C like . A lot of idea was proposed , and Zod , Allan , Bart would become much more rich in their personnality . finally after few month of hope , the Bitmap Brothers didn't agree . Suddenly all hope seems to be gone ... Really ?
The technical difficult begin to rise , and step by step the world go to Windows Xp , letting other abandonware behind him ,
The Only game we need was still on windows 95 (and even in dos for thoses who get the dos version ) , hoppefully for dos version , the open source community have produced some usefull software espcially for abandonware , dosbox , and we can still play it .
But the Windows is in some way better , and have more map (extention ) that s a real advantage , (and also the speed and the IA was improved ) .. How can we play Zed 95 under Windows xp was the question that everybody asked , of course everybody can dedicate another partition on his hard disk with Windows 95/98 , but one entire partition , entirely dedicate with Windows 95/98 only for playing one game , is really a waste of space .. Not sayd everytime the need to reboot the pc under Windows 95/98 , that s waste of time ...
Finally community produced a patch letting Zed 95 be played under Windows XP , even the multiplayer . The real bussiness can come back and the Multiplayer over Internet , just grow up , as the fun . But as the mulplayer still use ipx , an old LAN protocole , community was looking for the way to use it thought internet , after few month soome software named Hamachi was know , and the Muliplayer can be back , even on this Old buggy ipx . Hamachi was the patch , but we all fan of Zed are around the world , and really far away each other , The Hamachi wasn't really good about the speed of the network , even with good brandwith .
In the side of Zed dos version , some of community found the dosbox server Ipx tunneling , after a lot of test because of different version of Zed Dos between the community member, some solution was found , and the Dos Zed can also benefit of the advantage of multiplayer thought internet . Better , the Dosbox java server is an open source software , and it can also running on other modern system ( Linux, Os x .. ).
Finally where this long road lead us ? Some interresting thing , is that we can see from the first time the voice of open sourcing zed to today , there is always the will of freedom . The freedom to run Zed anywhere , on any system , and for any purpose , even all the technical difficult that was on the road , the love of zed and the will to improve was here . What about now ? with the increase of Windows Vista , it s a new challenge of incompatibility and technical difficult for the community ... It 's enough having to each time patch the game just because changing the system , how can zed fan community create the future of Zed if we even don't know what s inside ? We have even problem to use the game , it s enough to not be heard by editor , even if we are the first one to promote their product ...We must get back to root and then can create the brighter future for the game . I call that the Zed's problem , and it s enough of it (the one that is mapped here : http://img75.imageshack.us/my.php?image ... ed04ni.png)
What Now ?
Now we can ask what s the futur of Zed ? some people of community begin create a remake of Zed , there is different style and point of view of course . And for my part I still believe in the Zed 95 / Zed Dos stylish version , because all of these hours with this game , become a part of personnal history . But also we all played Zed under the Bitmap Brothers edition , and We all loved it , that s why we can reasonably think , it s a good way to follow . The second thing I would like to sayd is the road of zed and his community from past to now , lead much and much to openness , where we share our map , we share our games , we share our knowledge , our help , our sound (remember the different voice of different country : viewtopic.php?f=1&t=416 ) , and finally the dreaming of share any improvement we can make , included source code itself of game , clearly we need an Open Source Engine for running future Zed
Snowballz : the help from artic penguin
Enough of talking , after few search on internet I posted few month ago , some open source engine of real time strategy that I thought it can be used as a base of a futur Open source Zed : viewtopic.php?f=5&t=278
after few testing and few point of view , I think actually there is one open source engine that fit perfectly with this project : I nammed : SnowballZ . Yeah with a "Z" in the end of his name (this surely a sign that destinate him ). Snowballz is a rts engine where an army of penguins (Tux ? ) fight each other by throwing snowballs . It's programmed in python and pygame language , use some of opengl technlogy and where the source is under GPL licence .The point of view of snowballz is a top - bottom view , not an isometric one . the main point where a lot of RTS open source engine fail is that they are isometric view (like C&C ) even the most advanced like netpanzer , but Zed isn't that point of view in his pixel art seeing the post where it s explained : viewtopic.php?f=5&t=280
The version 1.0 just released .
I replaced some the penguin in walk.png file with jeep and grunt graphic (thank to immo for ripping the sprite : viewtopic.php?f=5&t=389 ) . And it doesn't suprise me that was "perfectly" adjusted here is some screenshot as you can see some grunt inside jeep wanting killing some polar bear
I also made a video where I play the version 0.9.5 and the version 1.0 (if there is problem to watch , you can use vlc: http://www.videolan.org/vlc/ - ogg video file ) -:
if someone want to upload on youtube or some service like it will be welcome
what do you need ? :
snowballZ open source engine :
you can either take the version 0.9.5 (eayser to use and with music ) or the version 1.0
for the version 1.0 what you need is python 2.5 , numpy (package python-numpy on ubuntu and debian ) , rabbyt : http://matthewmarshall.org/projects/rabbyt/ ( I used mercurial to download it (apt-get install mercurial , then : hg clone http://matthewmarshall.org/projects/rabbyt/hg.cgi rabbyt_dev ) , pyglet , pyrex , iniparse (all is on google code ) , python setuptools ,
for the version 0.9.5 you need python 2.5 , numpy , rabbyt , I think thats all .
I tested on Ubuntu 7 (work with debian too and all debian derivative linux )should work on any system where there is python and other python library it mean normally at least windows , mac and linux but I only tested on GNU/Linux Ubuntu and Debian
I didn't test on Windows xp (as I haven't) but should work as it s a python based engine (thats well know for his multi OS language )
Here is also the file I used for replace the penguin with the jeep inside data folder of game . the xcf is gimp source file .
The Future is Open
That s just the beginning of the open source zed , but we get the most important piece of software from open source community (one more time:) , now it need to be adpated for fitting really with what we love .
There is a tuto for making your own map (gimp used : http://www.gimp.org/ ) :
The engine still need a lot of improvement itself , the developpement page (http://joey101.net/snowballz/development/ ) sayd :
Small easy stuff
* Tower throw position - When you play the game you will notice that towers throw snowballs from their base. The starting position needs to be moved up to the start at the top of the tower and have the correct throw curve. [see lib/building.py]
* Hold position behavior - When you tell a group of penguins to go somewhere they will have an area they need to keep within so they don't stray too far. Well, when they first go there they need to spread out so they don't block each other up. [see lib/brain.py; the class HoldPosition]
* Maps - You will need to see current maps to figure out how to make your own. But there is a nice map editor for you once you get all your files setup correctly.
* Objects - Maps can define their own objects by just putting the images in a special folder in your map. Well, each map can have about 250 unique types of objects (with up to 255 variations on each object). It will automatically show up in the map editor for all your placing fun. [This feature isn't fully implemented. You can still create the objects but you just have to place them in the data directory]
Hard, challenging, FUN stuff.
* Path finding - If you like this stuff good luck. [lib/pathfinding.py]
* Player AI - This is an essential part of a complete game. There needs to be an AI to control enemy players. It's a hard task but it doesn't have to be overly complex to be fun to play against. [lib/playerai.py]
But of course, you are free to implement anything. Although I would recommend consulting me (joey at thisdomain) before implementing features. I will still control the main repository, this site and the direction of this project. I'd hate for you to implement something that I don't think would follow the style of SnowballZ.
Of course, there are a whole lot of other things to do such as plugins, more scripting features, map distribution system etc. I'll probably end up doing the aforementioned things but if you are wanting to get deeper into the development of snowballz let me know and I'll help you get going.
If you have any questions what so ever do not hesitate to ask!
We are at the beginning stage , and a lot still need improvement , I m sure our community will as it was in the past , improve the best game ever in all time : Zed ,
the road is long , but the way is open
What do yout think member of community ?
ps : I submited an email to inform the author about this topic , and our interest for snowballz . Waiting for reply